Ditching Microsoft: Apple is now using Google to power Siri search

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Microsoft's search engine, Bing has been Apple's default choice for both Siri (on iOS devices) and Spotlight (on macOS) search results for quite some time now, but the tech giant has chose to switch things up. This ends a Bing integration that was introduced in iOS 7 back in 2013. Siri will use Google's Search API, which means it will have access to ranked search results and the Knowledge Graph, the AI-powered system Google uses to provide higher quality information above search result links.

Google - not Microsoft's Bing - will now be the default for web searches on Siri, iOS, and Macs' "Spotlight" function, Apple said on Monday. Apple is keeping Bing as the default search engine for images in both Siri and Spotlight on Mac, and YouTube will continue to handle video searches. Also, you can still ask Siri to "search Bing for Flatliners movie reviews", for example, and you'll get Bing results. "We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible".

Microsoft is trying to sound upbeat about the move, although it's hard to imagine that Apple's change of heart hasn't stung. TechCrunch previously reported Siri's deal with Google, and noted that Bing will still be used to display Siri searches for images. Google is already the default search engine in Safari, so the further embracing of Google allows for greater consistency.

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Google Assistant, Google's virtual personal assistant, is also available on Apple's App store, but can not be set to replace Siri as the default virtual personal assistant.

In addition to this, Microsoft is expanding the Bing developer APIs (which are part of the Microsoft Cognitive Services set of machine learning-based APIs) with a new custom search feature that lets developers create a customized search experience for a specific slice of the web, and an updates Bing Search API that promises to introduce more relevant search results and support for autosuggest and spellcheck.

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